A new business centre providing a range of free services has opened its doors in North Tyneside

The North Shields Customer First Centre has become home to the first Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) Local when it officially opened on Tuesday, 29 June, 2021.

It comes after Business & Intellectual Property Centre North East, a Newcastle City Council project, was awarded funding as part of the British Library’s expansion of its network of Business & IP centres to equip six new local centres around the North East.

Supported by North Tyneside Council, the new facility will provide businesses and anyone looking to set-up their own business in and around North Tyneside with free access to on-site business databases and the latest marketing research information and resources.
Customers will also have access to BIPC North-East’s regional advice and support services and find out more about other business support available in North Tyneside.

Cllr Carl Johnson, Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside and cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “I am delighted that North Shields has become the first location in the region for the Business & IP Centre Local to open its doors.

“This facility will provide valuable services to the borough’s business community and anyone looking to start-up here and is another vital tool in the recovery of the local economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is particularly timely for North Shields as the council embarks on a major regeneration programme which will transform the town centre and riverside and create new opportunities for people to live and work here.”

BIPC North East was originally established in 2011 as BIPC Newcastle. This was the country’s first regional Business & IP Centre, outside of London, providing a service for the north-east business community. Over the past 10 years, BIPC Newcastle has supported over 14,000 new-starts and growing businesses and attracted over 7,600 attendees to over 300 events from across the region. During the last 12 months, BIPC Newcastle has played a key role in helping over 300 SMEs to safeguard around 600 jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The BIPC Local in North Shields has its own dedicated area for business support and is equipped with a core set of resources, such as up-to-date market research and business information enabling users to access for free the latest market research and trends, company data, and funding opportunities from a suite of online databases, including COBRA, Kompass and GRANTfinder.

The BIPC North East team will be also on hand to offer local businesses initial information and guidance on Intellectual Property (IP) matters, as well as providing a sound understanding of the different types of IP protection available.

The services will be brought to life by a tailored and highly individual programme of events, workshops and one-to-ones, delivered in collaboration by local partners. BIPC North East has a team of over 30 Experts in Residence, who derive from a wide variety of business sectors. These Experts mainly come from small businesses themselves and provide a free one-to-one advice session on their specialist topic.

For more information on opening days & times click here

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The North of Tyne Combined Authority is a partnership of three local authorities: Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, and Northumberland County Council and the North of Tyne Elected Mayor. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus